Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary, Ireland

Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.

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    BALLYFOIL, a parish, in the barony of KINNALEA, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 10 miles (E. by N.) from Kinsale; containing 1291 inhabitants.

    This parish which is also called 'Bealfoyl' and 'Poliplicke,' was formerly part of the possessions of Tracton Abbey, and from time immemorial was reputed free from tithes, till brought within the operation of the tithe composition act. It is situated on the southern coast, and comprises 1304 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act. The soil is fertile, and about one-third of the land is under tillage; the remainder is in dairy farms. The system of agriculture is improved; the only manure is sea-sand, which is brought into Rocky bay and Robert's Cove, two small coves in the parish, in large boats, of which several are employed in the trade. At Roberts' Cove is a valuable slate quarry, belonging to Sir Thomas Roberts Bart., but it is not worked to any considerable extent.

    Britfieldstown, the seat of Sir. Thomas Roberts, Bart., is pleasantly situated in a secluded spot above Roberts' Cove. On the same estate is Fort Richard, the residence of J. Galwey, Esq.

    The Cove affords a commodious shelter for vessels of 200 tons' burden, which occasionally arrive laden with coal, and return with cargoes of slate. The coast guard station here is the most westerly of the eight stations that constitute the district of Cove. A little to the west, on the summit of Roberts' Head, is a ruined signal tower, from which is an interesting and extensive prospect.

    It is an impropriate curacy, in the diocese of Cork, and is part of the union of Tracton, where the Protestant inhabitants attend divine worship; the rectory is impropriate in the Earl of Shannon. The tithes amount to £109 4s. 6d., the whole of which is payable to the impropriator. The church has long been a ruin.

    In the R.C. divisions, it forms part of the union or district of Kinnalee or Tracton.

    The parochial male and female schools are supported by the Cork Diocesan Society; there is also a hedge school in the parish.